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Messages - Sheep Dog

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Martial Arts Topics / Re: Deception, Misdirection, and Lies
« on: May 07, 2012, 11:51:26 AM »
I've done some Ekman training, and it is a good tool, but it takes a lot of work to catch the micro-expressions. Some such as comtempt are very easy to pick up. Some people get too carried away with looking for expressions where there may be none. As far as the backwards statement method, going back more than a decade it has been used a lot, especially in victim interviews, and for me personally gets great results.

As a side note the Kukukuku tribe mentioned in the article are a fascinating read, they use murder to "solve" even the smallest of issues.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Self-Defense Law
« on: March 24, 2012, 07:38:49 PM »
My opinion.

Zimmerman is screwed, he will most likely face a manslaughter charge and will be found guilty, and based on the scant evidence will probably deserve the punishment. The crux of the matter is whether through his actions he escalated the situation to one where deadly force became needed. I think we need to remove the heated racial language and look at this objectively. You see someone in your neighborhood, you don't recognize him, you follow him, all the kid knows is he is being followed, this is a recipe for a confrontation. Through your actions you created the confrontation, the consequences of the actions end in deadly force. Ultimately you will be the one to blame, the kid had the right to be where he was, he was up to no unlawful activity, and ultimately he is still a kid, being followed by an adult.

But what if the kid accosts or challenges the person following him? If he did he is in his right, why wouldn't you want to know why you are being followed, the kid has his right to stand his ground. Even if the kid throws the first punch he is guilty of battery at worst. Ultimately the adult created this situation and will be held responsible.

Here is the Florida statute in question:

"A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony."

As someone who has taught self defense, including deadly force for years, and as a cop I think the cops in Florida messed up, and the state Attorney General insight to reopen the case.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: My Silat in Indonesia Adventures
« on: October 19, 2011, 04:37:13 AM »
Kostas, as I continue to train I will continue to share. I'm heading out of town next week but when I get back I will start training again.

Brian, I'm doing government work (ours not theirs).

Martial Arts Topics / My Silat in Indonesia Adventures
« on: October 18, 2011, 11:10:10 PM »
Since I'm stuck at home with strep throat I thought I would take some time to share my recent Silat adventure here in Indonesia.

I recently moved to Surabaya, Indonesia. Surabaya is the second largest city in Indonesia and sits in East Jawa (Jawa Timor), near the island of Madura. Since I have known I was coming to Indonesia I have looked for Silat training here, what I was most interested in was finding traditional Silat. There are numerous large schools throughout Indonesia that teach sport style Silat, I was looking for something smaller and more traditional. I have had a love/hate relationship with Silat, sometimes it seems to be this incredibly effective system other times it seems flowery beyond words. Almost everyday while here I asked someone if they knew any Silat schools, I speak Indonesian, so I know it wasn't a language barrier, but everyone said there were no schools, tried to get me to go to Wushu schools, or thought of Silat as more a cultural dance, the term "budaya hilang" or "lost culture" came out once or twice. Everyone said Silat was really in the west of Java, Jakarta, or Bandung, or maybe only taught to family members. I refused to believe there was no Silat in Surabaya.

Through the internet I managed to get a hold of someone who studied under a Maduran Guru who lives in Surabaya, Mas Amien Mochamed. I had seen some brief clips of him on the net and read a blog which I am not sure if he put up or his students, but it seemed like a good first try, as it was my first real solid lead on training in Surabaya. From the blog all I knew was that the style was Maduran, and included four sub-styles, only one of which I had any experience with (Harimau).

Finding the club was an adventure itself, I live in the far suburbs of the city, the club was in the furthest side of the city from me about 20km's which with Indonesian traffic could well more than an hour drive. The address I had for the school was near Sunan Ampel Mosque. Sunan Ampel is famous mosque in the city in what seems to be a very religious neighborhood. In fact Mas Amien's school was called the Center for Religious study. My taxi driver seemed perplexed why I wanted to go to the Mosque, or more specifically the small alleyway I was looking for. The school was off the main road down a small alley/street, if you've been to Thailand it is almost the same as the small "soi". After finding the right "street" I headed down, it was obviously not a place with a lot of foreigners passing through. The very small homes all faced the street with tiny porches, the people all watching me as I passed by. I didn't get any bad vibes, just the curious reaction I sometimes get from locals when I wander from the main drag.

Having told him I was coming Mas Amien was waiting for me outside his school.

It was a small school, a room really, in what looked like what would otherwise be the living room of his house. We had the brief but awkward conversation where I stumble through in Indonesian telling my life story. There were a couple of surprises that really should not have been, first I was asked what religion I was, the reason being as a non-muslim I could only study to a certain level (based on the culture/history of the area from which the arts developed this was not too shocking, as the system was still being used against the dutch 70 years ago). Never the less Mas Amien was friendly and said he teaches people of all religions but reserves some teaching, I can accept that.

The second surprise was when I told him how hard it was to find a Silat Guru in Surabaya, he laughed and said on that street alone there were seven Guru's, but most Guru's in the area only teach family and friends, this reaffirmed my beliefs about the availability of schools in Surabaya.

The training was good, it was tough, I came out bruised, tired, sweaty and learned a couple new tricks, the Harimau was similar and different to what I had learnt, I never bothered with the Jurus (forms) in Silat before only the application so that was hard to get used to, as well because of my size, and the size of the training space I was like a bull in a China shop. There were some things I recognized, striking patterns from the open eight, infinity (see Guro Marc's Kali Tudo vids for more on that), as well as somethings totally foreign to me. The "Macan" or tiger style (I'm not sure how the word differs from Harimau which also means Tiger) of pinching pulling and tearing left me with bruises all over my chest and back. It was a great overall experience and I plan to go back.

Oh and I was worried I would get the foreigner ("bule" in Indonesian) pricing, but per month it works out to a little over $7.50 a month.

Sheep Dog

To echo Guro Philip...

I traded protection for enlightenment.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Here is the factual support
« on: March 14, 2011, 04:41:40 PM »
Agent Terry was armed with a pistol and rifle. There was no "non-lethal" first shot policy in effect, per BP, and DHS.

For an excellent discussion of use of force read the interview with John Bostaine posted in this thread, he was an instructor of mine, along with thousands of others and he has to be the best speaker I have ever heard on use of force, and the decisions behind them.

Gotta admit, "Real bullets outperform bean bags every time".

In and of itself, that's a true statement...   :-)

But is it also true...

"Border Patrol Agent Terry and the BORTAC team were under standing orders to always use ("non-lethal") bean-bag rounds first before using live ammunition."

Seems like a story (rumor without factual support) traveling fast across the internet with no substance so far.

Border Patrol agents shot beanbags at a group of suspected bandits before the men returned fire during a confrontation in a remote canyon, killing agent Brian Terry with a single gunshot, records show.

And an illegal immigrant wounded in the gunbattle who is now the only person in custody linked to the slaying contends he never fired a shot, according to FBI search warrant requests filed in the U.S. District Court in Tucson.

The documents provide the most detailed version yet of what happened in the deadly gunbattle Dec. 14 in Peck Canyon, northwest of Nogales.

The documents say the group of illegal border entrants refused commands to drop their weapons after agents confronted them at about 11:15 p.m. Two agents fired beanbags at the migrants, who responded with gunfire. Two agents returned fire, one with a long gun and one with a pistol, but Terry was mortally wounded in the gunfight.

Border Patrol officials declined to answer questions about protocol for use of force, citing the ongoing investigation.

But Terry's brother, Kent Terry, said the other agents who were there that night told him that they were instructed to use the non-lethal beanbags first. It's a policy that doesn't make sense to Kent Terry.

"You go up against a bandit crew that is carrying AKs, and you walk out there with guns loaded with beanbags - I don't get it," Terry said in a phone interview from Michigan. "It's like going to the Iraqi war with one knife. It boggles my mind. ... These guys (Border Patrol agents) are professionals; they should be able to use their judgment call on their own."

On the night of the deadly encounter, agents were trying to apprehend at least five suspected illegal immigrants. One agent, using thermal binoculars, spotted two men carrying rifles. When the group came close, at least one agent identified himself as police and ordered the men to drop their weapons.

Here's how the rest of the events are described in the FBI document:

"When the suspected aliens did not drop their weapons, two Border Patrol agents deployed 'less than lethal' beanbags at the suspected aliens. At this time, at least one of the suspected aliens fired at the Border Patrol agents. Two Border Patrol agents returned fire, one with his long gun and one with his pistol.

"Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was shot with one bullet and died shortly after. One of the suspected illegal aliens, later identified as Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, was also shot."

The search warrants were requested to examine fingerprints and a hair sample from Osorio-Arellanes, who was one of four men arrested that night near the shooting scene. The other three arrested, illegal immigrants from Mexico, have been cleared in connection with the crime and deported back to their home countries.

Osorio-Arellanes has not been charged in connection with the fatal shooting. He has been charged only with illegal re-entry after deportation and is awaiting a May 10 trial. The FBI document represents the first time his name has been included in a public document related to the shooting.

Two days after the shooting, Osorio-Arellanes agreed to talk to FBI agents. He was traveling with four others that night, all of whom were armed, Osorio-Arellanes told investigators, according to the document.

"Osorio-Arellanes stated that he had raised his weapon towards the Border Patrol agents, but he did not fire because he realized that they were Border Patrol agents," the search warrant says. "At this time, he was shot."

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Guro Poi Dog
« on: February 27, 2011, 08:23:39 AM »
Good job brother.

I think the introduction of the heavy aluminum trainers has added to the fights at the gathering immensely. I'm not sure when they first came out, maybe it was at the corral, but I found they definitely changed the tempo and characteristics of the fight. I love to grapple and last time I fought with the trainers I didn't so much as clinch.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: DB on PPV TV
« on: October 01, 2010, 12:18:06 PM »
I think it's been clear all along that there was no "privacy" of fighters, it's Marc's show and when you partake in a gathering you give him rights to use your image.

I'm looking forward to seeing the final product.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Daily Expression of Gratitude
« on: July 04, 2010, 04:32:22 PM »
Gratitude to this country which has truly given me so much.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Door Work, Bouncing, Bodyguarding
« on: May 06, 2010, 08:33:53 PM »
There is another Michael Kuhr video where he fakes out some low ranking mobster by threatening to call his boss, great example of diffusion vs. aggression.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: MMA versus Reality/Survival based skills
« on: April 29, 2010, 01:24:53 PM »

Training Sports Based Martial Arts As Reality Based Self Defense

Among the great debates of the modern martial arts era is what if any the mixed martial arts events have had on reality based martial arts training. There are legions of people who left traditional martial arts to flock to sports based martial arts. The art most well known due to the early success of the UFC's was Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or as it is more commonly known, BJJ. There has been an explosion of BJJ in the United States, there was a time that the number of Black Belts could be counted on one hand, and most of them were related. The past decade though has seen the popularity and accessibility of BJJ grow in leaps and bounds. From BJJ training grew schools and clubs more directly involved with Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) training. As opposed to BJJ, MMA is more concerned with the complete combat game not just the grappling portion of it. MMA generally consists of a few core training methods borrowed from other martial arts, and sports such as wrestling, sambo, judo, muay Thai, and boxing. All of these sports are considered performance based, which essentially means, excellence in the sport is the highest achievement.

Just as the popularity of this type of training grew, so did another training concept, that of Reality Based Martial Arts (RBSD). RBSD is at best training that takes in the whole of defense. Dealing with street psychology, de-escalation, weapons awareness (including firearms), and tactical considerations. It is heavily influenced by WWII combatives and straightforward and simple training methods and techniques.

The major philosophical distinction between these two training methods, sport training and RBSD training is the reason to train. RBSD training is specifically for the intent to defend oneself, sport training has defense as an ancillary benefit.

Both RBSD and sport based training when trained in the manner they are generally taught have large holes in their training methods which peculiarly tend to be addressed by the other. For example RBSD training tends to lack realistic contact and resistance training, sport training has this is spades but lacks weapon awareness, which RBSD training offers.

The purpose of this article is not to examine point by point the shortcomings of each method of training but to instead offer training strategies to help bridge the gap between these two seemingly polar opposite worlds.

I am a sports based trainer who teaches reality based self defense. On both sides of the fence there are people who will gasp at the very notion that these two things can coexist. As a matter of opinion I believe that they coexist very well, only helping my students to train better, smarter and prepare them to defend themselves.

We first have to dismiss the idea that sports based training has nothing to do with RBSD, in fact it has a lot to do with it. The combatives of the early part of this century were for the most part influenced by sports, Judo in particular. Judo is a sport though that with a little thought and effort becomes a formidable combative tool. Conflict takes place on many stages, the emotional, psychological, and physical. The physical stage is the one we are most familiar with and for the most part concerned with. We need to effectively deal with this stage to be able to defend ourselves. Being emotionally and psychologically equipped for battle but lacking the tools and abilities does you no good. We need to also have tools that address different levels of conflict. A firearm is a great tool when deadly force is needed but does little to help with an aggressive bar patron or hostile woman in the parking lot of your local grocery store. Just as the law enforcement community has realized that there are levels of use of force and reasonable responses to them we too have to come to this realization. Not every fight will be life and death. We have to be able to have a response for these differing situations. We cannot approach every encounter as life or death, we can always be aware that it may become a life or death struggle, but it can also go the complete opposite way.

Sport training provides a great amount of physical tools to deal with most unarmed and in some cases armed attackers. Even better than the tools provided is the environment in which they are polished. Generally speaking these environments are ones where two people attempt to actually defeat the other using skills learnt in class at real speed and with full resistance. Simply by having the experience of using the skill in this environment will help the sport trained fighter when he has to do the same on the street against yet another uncooperative person who also wants to physically dominate.

It is here where we must branch off for a moment as many reading this will think that "sure a sports fighter can punch or kick, so what happens when a knife is pulled?" and these people are right, the sports fighter may not be prepared for this eventuality as he may still have a certain connotation of what a fight is, and that idea may be far different from the person he is fighting. This is a distinct limitation of sports fighting. The fact that weapons are rarely introduced in technique, or even more rarely in sparring. RBSD training prepares the person for this eventuality, what I believe it does not prepare them for is how to adequately persevere in the encounter.

It is important to distinguish between training techniques and training methods, I will argue that the method of training is far more important than the techniques being trained. It does little good to know the theory behind a punch and be unable to use it against a resisting opponent. Technique refers to a physical tool. Training method refers to the way that tool is learnt. Both must exist, but the training method will determine the success of the tool. If you have realistic training methods you will quickly find which tools work and which do not. You will also find which tools work well for you and not other and vice versa. Martial arts is replete with techniques that simply do not work, they may have worked for one person one time but no one else. But due to the reliance on technique and not training method people continued to practice them placing faith in the tool and excusing lack of effectiveness on the practionner not the tool.

One point of continuous contention is that of ground fighting. The view that the RBSD community has no place for ground fighting is a flawed view in my mind. I believe the RBSD practioners readily admit that ground fighting is as important part of the fighting arsenal as any other. That being said they also would be the first to say it should not be the first response to a situation as well as the oft repeated warnings of broken glass, syringes, and generally unkempt sidewalks in major urban sprawl.

There is though an extremely important part of ground fighting that both schools of thought should agree on. That is the importance of learning how not to go to the ground and how to get back up when you find yourself there. Being on the ground in a fight is not the place you want to be. As discussed earlier you often don't get the chance to dictate and you may find yourself on the ground and it is here that having ground fighting skills will come into play. You may know 1001 dirty tricks, including biting, scratching and poking eyes, but the person on top can do all the same and more. You need more than simply tricks you need to have an ability to dominate position. The place you learn to dominate position in by grappling in class on a mat. I guarantee you that if you can dominate in the class you can dominate on the street. You do not need to ignore the eye jabs, and biting, etc. you simply need to see these as secondary to the situation at hand.

I teach students to fight in a clinch; the clinch is a position where two people are entangled together trying to control the other person normally through use of holding the other person. The clinch is a position which many people will find themselves in time and time again and which needs to be trained. Unfortunately trainers will often dismiss the clinch as "grappling" or "suicide" due to the close proximity the people are to each other. In a perfect world we will not be near our attackers, we will in fact be miles away in our homes relaxing and watching a good movie on TV. Alas this is not the perfect world and our wishes and desires often bear no resemblance to the situation at hand. Environment dictates solution; this is a mantra to meditate on. We must have solutions that will work in various environments. We have to take the time to understand that if we only train in advantageous positions we are only cheating ourselves. There is a desire it seems to ignore "bad" situations, such as fighting from close range while being held on to, as it may be seen as sporting, due to the fact that sports fighters use this range quite effectively, but they do so for a reason, due to it's very effectiveness.

I mention the clinch specifically because it seems a position that is often ignored at peril. I will not go into the mechanics of fighting from the clinch for the armed individual as it would be beyond the breadth and scope of this article but the position does provide one with a the ability to both control the attacker and control the attackers ability to use weapons. "Hands Kill"; it is heard in every police academy class throughout the nation, it was drilled into me. The armed professional wants to see the hands, and control the hands. The clinch is a position in which even if we lose visual reference of the hands we can still control them. The RBSD student can easily take a wrestling drill such as pummeling and learn effective hand and arm control while also being aware of the potential for weapons. This training is especially effective for law enforcement as it bridges the gap between the pat down/handcuffing and the subject becoming resistive.

The clinch is an example of a sport training method that is easily adapted to RBSD training. It in itself is neither intended for sport or combat it is intended instead for teaching to deal with someone attempting to grab and control you. The technique is neutral the method and reasoning you use to train it is the important concept.

The sad fact is that many people dismiss the training tools of the others due to lack of understanding of just what people are trying to accomplish. I feel that the onus truly lies with the RBSD instructors as these people (myself included) promote self-defense as the primary purpose of what they do. Those of us who teach RBSD have to take into account that the sport fighters' primary purpose is not to fight on the street, and yet they manage, all things being equal, to do far better than the RBSD proponent in unarmed combat. By and large they are unprepared for weapons, and though they seldom work against multiple attackers, they still seem to completely dominate the world of hand to hand combat.

We must not fall into the trap of thinking that though they can fight without weapons due to the fact we are armed we will automatically prevail, and therefore offer a better solution. If we cannot prevail in the empty hand portion of combat it is unlikely we will have the ability to escalate to weapons. We have to ask ourselves honestly how many times we've trained with little in the way of protective equipment while someone tries, really tries to attack us. For those of us who do, we then have to ask how many of us have then attempted to access weapons, and deploy them. It can be done certainly, but it can be done far easier if we have more control in the fight and our not off put by the attack. If we can fight standing, if we can fight in the clinch, if we can fight on the ground then we are simply giving ourselves more chances.

We have to dismiss this idea of sport fighting as men in tights who fight in a cage and instead think of them as people who have achieved the height of ability in a certain field of combat. Rather than be threatened by them, we need look to them to provide us with valuable information on just what works best in the realm of personal unarmed combat. This does not mean we abandon reality training, it simply means we look at the situation critically and accept that someone out there may be doing a better job at one certain task. I would not ask a UFC fighter his opinion on how best to deploy a weapon in a fight but I would not hesitate to ask him how best to free my hands from a clinch so that I may deploy the weapon. The difference is subtle but not to be overlooked.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: MMA versus Reality/Survival based skills
« on: April 29, 2010, 01:24:29 PM »
Here is an old article I wrote on the subject:

Applying Sports Training Principles to Combatives

A recent article entitled ""Combatives: Which Cage do you Fight in?" by noted force-on-force trainer Ken Good, explored the use of sports based fighting as a measuring stick of the effectiveness of combatives for the armed professional.

Several excellent points were made as to the issues surrounding the use of force in an armed situation and the variables that must be taken into consideration. I will not go over the entire list of them as Ken covered them quite well (for more information please see his article in the Blackwater Tactical Weekly). Where I feel Ken misunderstood what was when he misconstrued training for sport, and training with the methods of sport. Two very different things. I think it is best to discuss the concepts of sport training and sport training methods. Sports' training is any training for a specific goal in a sport, in running it is to run faster, and longer, in high jump to jump higher, in sport Judo to throw your opponent. These are all examples of sport training. These very narrow goals are all aided by what you train. Sports methods though refer simply to the way you train and any ancillary benefits you gain from them.

A clear example would be jogging; you may jog everyday from home to the local track and back. You do not jog so you get better at jogging from point A to point B, you jog so you are more fit, have a stronger heart and to help cut down weight. It is the method from which you gain the benefits.

It is quite easy to look at sports fighters (those athletes that compete in mixed martial arts events such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship) and see what they do as having no relation to that of the armed professional in the course of his duties. We tend to want to look at the techniques used by these men and dismiss them as Ken said in relation to applying sport technique in combatives:

"Taking (opponents) to the ground with a committed double leg takedown, mounting them, slapping\punching them in the face until an arm appears so that one could throw an arm bar on them to dislocate the elbow is probably not the soundest doctrine either. Try that with full kit on, needlessly exposing some of your secondary and tertiary weapons in the process to the individual you are dealing with or his friends. Not to mention a good face stomp or knife attack from his buddies as well."

And Ken is right there would be little sense in taking someone to the ground in a combatives environment, mounting them and applying a submission hold such as a choke, or armbar. But the fact is that the foundation of the skills used to do all of these things is as important to the athlete as it is to the LEO or military personnel. It is not in the techniques themselves that the benefit comes but from the methods they use to practice their techniques. When combatives is trained against non-resisting attackers what happens is a false sense of reality shrouds the techniques. The difficulty in training is to figure out what is the level of realism one can safely (or to be more truthful, how unsafe can training be) work in. The fatal flaw is that people often feel that what they do is so dangerous that they are unable to train at full power. By limiting themselves they then train at a level which will not replicate real life. They tend to slow down the movements, feeling that the decreased speed will have to be made up by perfect form or they over react to the training stimuli. Of course this is not just unarmed training, training against edged weapons often involves someone trying to attach someone else, only very…very...slowly. All well and good if you are attacked by a very slow adversary. Unfortunately I have not yet met him.

Sports fighters though train with the opposite of many combatives instructors methods, they constantly look to push the bounds of force-on-force training and work against fully resisting opponents. An interesting thing happens as they train at these higher levels, the techniques which in training look crisp and clean tend to become a bit sloppier and not quite as sharp. This mimics what happens in actual combat, the stance widens a bit, your legs are not as spaced as they should be your shoulders not turned the way they are on the range for example. This increase in pressure greatly affects your performance. It is often after stressful training that people really begin to feel they now have a clearer understanding of what it takes to do the job.

This training is used constantly in law enforcement through the use of Sims and paint marking guns, but rarely is it applied to unarmed combat. At best you may get to train against a red-man, but the padded, unfeeling suit wearer does not mimic a real person, instead the red-man drills often turn simply into an exercise of endurance, rather than combat. I would not want anyone to attempt to tackle an adversary to the ground and mount him in the battlefield, but I would want him to have worked enough from that position and from underneath it to have the skill to persevere when it happens. Again in cases like these it is not a case of if, but when. We can take two people, suit them up in gear and allow them to train on the ground in the same manner sports fighters do. Not so that they will become better sports fighters but so that they will be better prepared to deal with an attack where they may find themselves on the ground.

The very things Ken talks about such as multiple attackers, weapons, environmental concerns etc. are the very motivators for taking cues from sport fighters and looking at their training methods to see how they operate. I would wager that a sport fighter who has never had a vest and duty belt on would still be in a better position and have a better chance of disengaging from a ground fight to avoid those things mentioned than the combatives trained patrol officer who has worn a belt every day since he started on the job. Taking the training method of the sports fighter and applying it to the training of the officer while training in full gear would only better prepare him.

When Ken said "MMA does not in any way, shape or form represent the totality of what the modern solider/officer faces in the real world". He was totally right.

No training will represent the totality of what is faced in the real world. The artillery man may simply view all these discussion as a moot point because it never takes into account the use of shells, the sniper may feel all of this is unimportant as it doesn't take into account 1000 yards, etc. It is too easy to not see the forest for all the trees in this case. We cannot train for the totality we can only train for a small piece of the many things that may face us.

Ken cannot offer totality, I cannot offer totality, and the armed forces with all their might and money cannot offer totality. We have to make decisions on how we are to train and in what format. We have the freedom though to choose differing ways to train different goals. Sports fighters and their training methods have proved in an empirical way that they are able to train people to perform under pressure and with great success. No one will argue that these men are super humans that should be dropped into combat zones wearing their tight fight trunks and gloves and little else, but it can be argues that these men do have an expertise on a very important part, albeit a small part, of combative training. I doubt highly that any intelligent and experienced trainer would say that all the combatives questions can be answered by sports training, but certainly they can see that some aspects can.

For example pistol shooting is an important tool, but like any other tool it has its place and time. It is not competent doctrine to hold the pistol as the ultimate weapon for combat simply because it holds up quite well for officers in the street. Even so we continue to train with a pistol while recognizing it's limitations in combat. We have many options on a duty belt, different weapons for different situations. Training should be the same; we have to examine what we have and how to apply it.

The limitations of sport in the combative realm do not make it null and void as a training method. We should seek to add elements to how we train not take them away.

Training should seek to develop core concepts and abilities while training under progressively stronger resistance so that we develop what is referred to as "ownership of technique." When we use pressure in training, officers experience the techniques intellectually, emotionally and physically. In my experience we have found that this combination of teaching methods results in a higher retention of technique as compared to simple physical training. The use of combatives at near realistic speeds and intensity greatly heightens the retention and impact this training has on the trainee, especially important when he may have as little as forty hours total training time.

To understand this principal take the example of going to a film, we have all seen films in which we can remember quotes, dialogue, and scenes. Though we may have seen the film only once we are able to recall all this. For most people this is not due to a heightened ability to memorize details but rather due to the situation in which it was presented. Simply put if you enjoyed the film chances are you will remember more. You have experienced the film both intellectually through seeing it and emotionally by having enjoyed seeing it. A boring film on the other hand is seldom remembered in such detail. We have to ask why, either way we have seen the same thing presented in the same manner, so what it missing. What is missing is the emotional experience. We have experienced the film on two levels.

Though a trivial example it shows the relation that emotion (enjoyment, fear, stress) may have on the learning process. Add to this the physical and intellectual ownership of techniques and skill retention increases greatly.

The methods used by sports fighters, intensity, realism, physical exertion, and psychological pressure all aid in developing effective combatives skills.

When combatives trainers use intensity, realism, physical exertion and psychological pressure along with tactical considerations it only results in better training. We have to strive to not limit what we do but to instead find ways to do it better. For many of us it is a bitter pill to swallow that someone does something better than use, especially when they are not even trying to outdo us, but the facts remain that the sports fighters have fundamentally, and unintentionally changed the way combatives is being taught, and are proving their particular skill set weekly.

No one is telling any training to adopt lock stock and barrel the whole of the sports fighters' regimen, to do so would be foolish. But rather it can be suggested that we look at what others are doing right in their particular field and see how it applies to what we do, and how we can do better.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Spring 2010 DB Tribal Gathering
« on: April 27, 2010, 05:04:39 PM »
Quick thoughts from the last gathering. Missed the first day due to work, but I was able to make the second.

Guide Dog stood out as he just fought, and fought, and fought, and... well you get the idea. Very impressive.

Tennessee Dog was a maniac with his nunchaku vs. sarong with ball attached fight. That was a highlight for me, very unexpected results.

As for me thanks to Linda, Guide Dog, and Pappy Dog for allowing me to play and have fun, Sunday was probably the most playful I've felt at a gathering and after what I think is six or seven years of gatherings I've actually began to feel like I am coming into my own, only thanks to those I can go against. Iron Sharpens Iron.

The DB ethos was strong, we really are a tribe.

Thanks to Crafty as always.


A very quick thank you to all the fighters, to Marc, and the people behind the scenes who made this possible. Special thanks to Dean for the medical aid (and great fight).

Master Ricketts is the highest ranked Ilustrisimo instructor in SoCal.


Martial Arts Topics / Re: Mai Sok vs...
« on: February 01, 2008, 10:26:30 AM »
If it wasn't a tough fight it woudnt be fun.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Mai Sok vs...
« on: January 31, 2008, 11:07:19 AM »
I'll use Mai Sok as well.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Mai Sok vs...
« on: January 29, 2008, 11:26:18 PM »
I'm up for a Mai Sok match.

Sled Dog,

Was it from If so what is the direct link to the tracker, I have an account. Thx.

Sheep Dog


My name is Marc, but at least twice a year I go by the name Sheep Dog. For the past five years I have been a part of the Dog Brothers Pack. For each of us the reason we fight is different and I can only talk about my feelings and motivation. Fighting at a gathering is the physical manifestation of a mental process. For me that mental process is about overcoming seemingly impossible obstacles. There is an amazing liberation in combat  that can only come when you face the real chance of injury. All other things happening in your life take a back seat, for that moment there are no distractions, no concerns, or worries. There is only you and another person, and for two minutes you and he will fight.

When you fight at a gathering the idea of no winners, no losers, no judges or rules allows total freedom from ego. You only fight yourself, if you get hit it is because you were in the wrong place at the wrong time. If you are overwhelmed by your opponent it is because you failed to train as hard as they did. It is a place where you take sole responsibility for yourself.

Everything I do at a gathering is a learning experience, and of all the experiences, learning how to fight is the one I value least.

I have a couple of his books and was pretty dissapointed. Just seemed to be ridiculous war stories and some karate thrown together in a hap hazard style.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: DB Gathering of the Pack August 10th, 2008
« on: January 04, 2008, 09:34:59 PM »
When I can sign up!?

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Fall Gathering! Fighters thread
« on: November 26, 2007, 12:48:45 PM »
I am looking forward to a three day closed door gathering, in my humble opinion the 20 year anniversary of the gatherings and a three day closed event is one of those seminal events that help define a legacy. I would love to see as many of the original dogs there.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Fall Gathering! Fighters thread
« on: November 21, 2007, 11:48:43 PM »
A hearty thanks and much respect to everyone at this past gathering.

This was a gathering where I really was not going to attend due to work, but at the last minute I decided to make it out there. I am glad I did. I was watching the fights thinking about how the gathering brings us together as people and the friendship that goes with it. As some of you know I have travelled near and far competing and fighting and no where have I seen the camaraderie that gathering brings out.

Again thanks to everyone there and especially Crafty and Papy.

Proverbs 27:17 - Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: November 18, 2007 Dog Bros Gathering of the Pack
« on: November 06, 2007, 04:02:18 PM »

I'll fight you with the shock knife.


Martial Arts Topics / Re: November 18, 2007 Dog Bros Gathering of the Pack
« on: November 02, 2007, 01:45:28 AM »

To paraphrase an old Irish toast...

"May your son live as long as he wants and never want as long as he lives."

Martial Arts Topics / Re: VIDEO CLIPS OF INTEREST
« on: November 02, 2007, 01:39:30 AM »
"Attack proof" seems quite silly in application.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Fall Gathering! Fighters thread
« on: October 19, 2007, 12:14:03 AM »
Just to clarify I intend to use a very small round shield. not some huge thing.

Martial Arts Topics / Fall Gathering! Fighters thread
« on: October 17, 2007, 11:05:36 PM »
I love the Summer gathering for one reason only, it means that I only have to wait four months for the next one, and it's here all ready. If you plan on being there drop your name on the thread.

I may do a fight single stick with shield, anyone interested?


See everyone there!

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Professor Max Pallen at the Gatherings
« on: July 03, 2007, 12:40:52 PM »
My guess is he came, he fought, he went home.

From my experience this is how most fights go.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Can someone direct me to "How To Join"
« on: July 01, 2007, 12:38:53 PM »

Most of your questions are answered there.

As for the size of the stick...whatever your opponent is willing to fight against. The rules, be friends at the end of the day, leave with the same IQ you came with.

Sheep Dog
Train Hard, Live Well

Martial Arts Topics / Some Jun07 Gathering Pics
« on: July 01, 2007, 10:31:36 AM »

More to come.

Crafty I will send you them as well.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: June 2007 Gathering
« on: June 28, 2007, 07:19:33 PM »
Truly a great experience for all invovled.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: June 2007 Gathering
« on: June 17, 2007, 01:08:59 PM »
Not sure about anyone else but I have never noticed the flash in any of my fights, nor have I noticed the audience for that matter :)

What have noticed and appreciated is the few hardworking people who take high quality pics and submit them to Marc and Cindy.


Martial Arts Topics / Gathering Numbers
« on: May 29, 2007, 11:30:04 PM »
Just some food for thought:

At this upcoming gathering there will be

6 Full Dog Brothers

9 Candidate Dog Brothers

4 Dogs

and 24 other fighters

That is over forty fighters!

I have to say I am excited at the prospect. I know a lot of us have been getting prepared physically and mentally for this gathering.

I am especially glad to see both Salty Dog and Top Dog will be in attendance.


Martial Arts Topics / Re: June 2007 Gathering
« on: May 29, 2007, 02:35:16 PM »
I am a fan of walls, I guess I like the idea that walls exist in the "real" world. It's always fun to fight against the wall, or to drive someone into it, and of course it makes for better flying attacks  :-D


On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs - Dave Grossman :

Martial Arts Topics / Re: June 2007 Gathering
« on: March 20, 2007, 01:52:21 PM »
For myself 3 stick fights is a nice good number, but sometimes you just don't know. I remember fighting one gathering where in my first fight I fought a friend of mine, and even though I had more experience than he did we just had a war that seemed to go on forever, I spent the remainder of the afternoon sucking wind and trying to stop my head from bleeding.


Martial Arts Topics / Re: November Gathering 2006
« on: February 12, 2007, 01:45:11 PM »
I just got back from Europe and it was nice tpo log on and see the pics.

Look forward to seeing everyone in June!

c-Sheep Dog

Martial Arts Topics / Street Weapons
« on: January 22, 2007, 01:11:21 PM »
Came across this a couple of weeks ago. Essentially this is what a Meth dealer is using to make friends and influence people.

This is a sawed off aluminum baseball bat.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Location for June '07 Gathering
« on: January 09, 2007, 01:51:06 PM »
This could be interesting. I have only fought at R1 and would look forward to more "space" to deal with.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Savate
« on: November 10, 2006, 10:34:17 PM »
If it is the show I saw it is not so much a serious documentary as it is a show about a french Canadian woman who goes to France to learn the art. If you can ignore her the show is great. There are though some appaling historical rereations, and vignettes.

eeesh. more fighting under those heat lamps.

Martial Arts Topics / Time for Thanks
« on: June 26, 2006, 03:56:36 PM »
I just wanted to publically thank Crafty Dog for the Gathering. This is the first time I really went in with solid stick training, and thanks to Guro Crafty's guidance things went very well.

I had a blast, learnt some new things, and got to play with a shock knife while fighting which was very eye opening.

Thanks to my partners who went against me in my matches.

Proverbs 27:17

Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens his friend's countenance.

Martial Arts Topics / Knife vs. Gun
« on: February 23, 2006, 10:24:50 AM »
The whole knife vs. gun is so subjective. There are a variety of things that influence it, most important is the level of the gun fighter, I have seen the 21' rule disproved countless times by a trained gun fighter. One big issue is that a lot of people don't work on drawing the gun while in struggle or under pressure, this makes a huge difference in how well you do.

I have a friend who survived an edged weapon attack at clinch range and amanged to draw his gun and survive the encounter, this was mainly due to the fact he knew how to engage in the clinch, and draw under pressure.

Martial Arts Topics / The Dog Brothers Tribe
« on: February 16, 2006, 08:47:54 AM »
Thanks to Marc for all his training.

Martial Arts Topics / Ranges observed in the fights
« on: January 26, 2006, 09:59:20 AM »

I work Largo, clinch and ground, in fact all of my matches at DB gatherings have ended with me and my opponent on the ground.

That being said I think that where you win the fights a lot of times is the space in between long range and clinch, learning how to get in and get out of that range is one of the best skill syou can have. Having a good clinch but lacking the skills to get there will not do you much good.

As for traps, well I think compound trapping really doesn't work very well in my *own* experience at a gathering. When I think trapping I think more in the line of wrestling, over hook is a good "trap", underhooks, etc.

I have used a snake disarm a few times where from overhook I strip the stick there are a few pics of me doing it in the photo galleries, I will look for them and post them.

Martial Arts Topics / Essential street ground fighting
« on: January 09, 2006, 10:48:44 PM »
Not to self advertise but you may want to ready the following articles I wrote.

If you are planning on biting the Femoral Artery, plan to be there for a while.

Martial Arts Topics / you knew this? KUBARK
« on: November 17, 2005, 03:35:29 PM »
"Kubark" is a document from 1963, just wanted to make sure people understood how old it is.

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